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Rod Webb

Glasstap Limited

Director and Co-Founder

Read more from Rod Webb

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21 Years of Resilience


A few customers have reminded me that Glasstap is now 21 years old! Which makes me think I should be feeling grown up, or something. I’m not, but it has encouraged me reflect on a key skill that I’ve perhaps not always recognised I possess; that of resilience.

We’ve probably all doubted our resilience at some point, particularly perhaps over the last year, which has been so difficult for so many on both a personal and professional level.

When times are hard, you might notice a negative self-talk that becomes louder and more difficult to ignore. You might find it helpful to imagine this inner voice as a sort of nasty, petty little demon; let’s call mine Norm. Norm is always there, saying things like, “You can’t”, or “Things will never get better”, or “Who do you think you are?”

When that voice becomes deafening, it’s time to take a breath and think about the journey that has brought you to where you are now.

When I reflect on my own history with Glasstap, I’m grateful for the fact that we were a little naïve when we started. It might seem strange to celebrate naivety, but I honestly believe that our ignorance gave us confidence and self-belief untarnished by past failure and doubt.

But if naivety got us started, it’s resilience that kept us going.

It took me five long months of cold calling before I gained our first piece of work. Every day that passed without work fed Norm, but it also fed my determination not to fail so soon.

Fast forward two years and Norm was still there niggling away. He told me, constantly, that I was an imposter and would get caught out soon, and he warned me that, with one very big customer, I had all my eggs in one basket and could lose everything in an instant.

Well, Norm didn’t count on us launching Trainers’ Library in 2003 did he!

Of course, there have been a lot of other challenges along the way since then, including carbon monoxide poisoning at our first rented office promised, caused by the metre being ‘bypassed’, a freak flood that drove us out of our second office for several months, and two major recessions. My co-director has suffered long-term health issues which meant he was unable to work for long periods of time. Whilst trying to manage the difficulties of the last recession, we both suffered the personal heartbreak of losing parents to cancer.

I tell you all this not for sympathy or admiration but to remind you that every one of us has been on a journey to get to where we are today. Those journeys have not always been easy (despite the illusion we might display on social media) but we’ve all endured and we’ve all demonstrated resilience to get here.

Ultimately, resilience, for me is about taking control of difficult situations, believing in yourself, those around you and where you are heading and being prepared to adapt. And, perhaps most importantly of all, it’s about learning to defeat Norm.

Because, let’s be honest, that negative self-talk we give ourselves is usually irrational, constricting and, significantly, deceitful. If you doubt that, take a moment to reflect on all the difficulties you’ve successfully overcome in the past to get to where you are now; of all the times when your negative self-talk has, ultimately, been proven wrong.

Remember, contrary to what that ridiculous voice says when it says you can’t, you CAN, and you HAVE. When it says things will never get better, they DO, and they HAVE.

So, when it asks, “Who do you think you are?”, take pride in letting it know; you’re you, and you’re stronger, more resilient and more capable than it could possibly imagine.

Just like communication, negotiation, leadership and all the rest, resilience is a skill that you can learn and develop and, just as you’d expect, there’s a lot of material in Trainers’ Library to help you and those you work with achieve greater levels of resilience. Why not take a look and get in touch if you want any particular recommendations.

Until next time…

Author Profile Picture
Rod Webb

Director and Co-Founder

Read more from Rod Webb

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